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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A journey into the workshop #1. Starting over, getting organized.

After spending the time, money, and effort to get the equipment I need to get moving in earnest in woodworking, I am doing so. But a little background might help you dear readers to understand where I am coming from…

I hated junior high, and high school. Passionately hated that entire experience with 3 major exceptions.

#1. The social interactions. Some of the best friends I have ever had, I made in Junior High, and High School. I try to maintain many of those friendships even today…

#2. Art class, for the same reasons I also enjoyed…
#3. Shop classes, specifically Wood Shop, and Welding Shop. I was encouraged to create and express myself through those classes.

While I thoroughly enjoyed college, by the time I entered college, I was in a long term, bad domestic situation that kept me away from woodworking for many years…

Fast forward 21 years, a new marriage (I am VERY blessed this time!) to a wonderful woman that actually encourages me to express and explore these things… This also coincided with my career taking off in the direction I was working toward, with sufficient income to at least indulge woodworking with a bang for the buck point of view…

I started building up my workshop from a basic circular saw, cheap router table, sanding block, and old hand me down hack saw to what it is today in January 2008.

So now it's time for me to get organized, in both the workshop and the blog… I am hopefully making progress with both.

In case you haven't seen it, my workshop tour page is renewed pretty frequently. I try to keep it up to date with the changes I am making in the shop.

Today was a day of throwing away. Of chucking cut offs from old 2×4s that had bent nails driven into them. The only uses I could think of for keeping these cutoffs are as kindling, and I have plenty of that… So in the trash can they went…

Next came hooking the long hose to the Thien cyclone, and sucking up as much sawdust as I could put a hose to… I have some leftover issues but nothing serious.

Lastly, I had to un bury my planer, and table saw. (Long story, workshop garage not just used as workshop quite yet…).

Since the long hose was out, drug the planer over to the hose, hooked it up, and planed my 4×4 cedar to, well… 3.5"x3.5" +/- .001" (The gauge on the Ryobi isn't super accurate, but this is wood after all, and not cast iron…).

I then cut all of my replacement workbench legs to length. I guess for the guys with more years experience, or even with the same years but more time out in the shop my mistakes border on the sheer stupid, but I am going at this with the motto of "safety first"... My accuracy is improving for sure, but I am still prone to mistakes, which is why I am making new legs…

As I work my way through the projects, one of my key pieces to success I fear is going to be keeping the value of what I do in the workshop relevant to what LOML wants done in and around the house, The following projects are on the TOP of my list…

#1. Finish workbench. (Progress made this weekend).
#2. Finish kitty condo. (progress made this weekend.)
#3. Finish Replacing bad insulation and decking the attic. (Ongoing project, just started). Workbench project is relevant due to need for outfeed support from table saw for safety sake.
#4. Build plywood and 2×4 shelving in attic to make tote access easier. Again workbench relevant for outfeed support.
#5. Build Thien pre separator / trash can cyclone. Safety is relevant all the time…
#6. Finish table saw extension wing. Router table insert will be moving to end of wing, with miter slot to allow use of stacked feather boards. This will be critical when routing profiles for mitered frame raised panel doors that she wants in the kitchen and bathrooms.
#7. Workshop cabinets with mitered frame raised panel doors. Practice and skill builder for kitchen and bathroom projects…. I am planning on using as clear as possible of Cedar for this project. Going to get lots of resawing and milling practice with this!

So while the organization continues, there also remains so much more to do…
 

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A journey into the workshop #1. Starting over, getting organized.

After spending the time, money, and effort to get the equipment I need to get moving in earnest in woodworking, I am doing so. But a little background might help you dear readers to understand where I am coming from…

I hated junior high, and high school. Passionately hated that entire experience with 3 major exceptions.

#1. The social interactions. Some of the best friends I have ever had, I made in Junior High, and High School. I try to maintain many of those friendships even today…

#2. Art class, for the same reasons I also enjoyed…
#3. Shop classes, specifically Wood Shop, and Welding Shop. I was encouraged to create and express myself through those classes.

While I thoroughly enjoyed college, by the time I entered college, I was in a long term, bad domestic situation that kept me away from woodworking for many years…

Fast forward 21 years, a new marriage (I am VERY blessed this time!) to a wonderful woman that actually encourages me to express and explore these things… This also coincided with my career taking off in the direction I was working toward, with sufficient income to at least indulge woodworking with a bang for the buck point of view…

I started building up my workshop from a basic circular saw, cheap router table, sanding block, and old hand me down hack saw to what it is today in January 2008.

So now it's time for me to get organized, in both the workshop and the blog… I am hopefully making progress with both.

In case you haven't seen it, my workshop tour page is renewed pretty frequently. I try to keep it up to date with the changes I am making in the shop.

Today was a day of throwing away. Of chucking cut offs from old 2×4s that had bent nails driven into them. The only uses I could think of for keeping these cutoffs are as kindling, and I have plenty of that… So in the trash can they went…

Next came hooking the long hose to the Thien cyclone, and sucking up as much sawdust as I could put a hose to… I have some leftover issues but nothing serious.

Lastly, I had to un bury my planer, and table saw. (Long story, workshop garage not just used as workshop quite yet…).

Since the long hose was out, drug the planer over to the hose, hooked it up, and planed my 4×4 cedar to, well… 3.5"x3.5" +/- .001" (The gauge on the Ryobi isn't super accurate, but this is wood after all, and not cast iron…).

I then cut all of my replacement workbench legs to length. I guess for the guys with more years experience, or even with the same years but more time out in the shop my mistakes border on the sheer stupid, but I am going at this with the motto of "safety first"... My accuracy is improving for sure, but I am still prone to mistakes, which is why I am making new legs…

As I work my way through the projects, one of my key pieces to success I fear is going to be keeping the value of what I do in the workshop relevant to what LOML wants done in and around the house, The following projects are on the TOP of my list…

#1. Finish workbench. (Progress made this weekend).
#2. Finish kitty condo. (progress made this weekend.)
#3. Finish Replacing bad insulation and decking the attic. (Ongoing project, just started). Workbench project is relevant due to need for outfeed support from table saw for safety sake.
#4. Build plywood and 2×4 shelving in attic to make tote access easier. Again workbench relevant for outfeed support.
#5. Build Thien pre separator / trash can cyclone. Safety is relevant all the time…
#6. Finish table saw extension wing. Router table insert will be moving to end of wing, with miter slot to allow use of stacked feather boards. This will be critical when routing profiles for mitered frame raised panel doors that she wants in the kitchen and bathrooms.
#7. Workshop cabinets with mitered frame raised panel doors. Practice and skill builder for kitchen and bathroom projects…. I am planning on using as clear as possible of Cedar for this project. Going to get lots of resawing and milling practice with this!

So while the organization continues, there also remains so much more to do…
Keep us posted, sounds a lot like my story, minus the domestic situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A journey into the workshop #1. Starting over, getting organized.

After spending the time, money, and effort to get the equipment I need to get moving in earnest in woodworking, I am doing so. But a little background might help you dear readers to understand where I am coming from…

I hated junior high, and high school. Passionately hated that entire experience with 3 major exceptions.

#1. The social interactions. Some of the best friends I have ever had, I made in Junior High, and High School. I try to maintain many of those friendships even today…

#2. Art class, for the same reasons I also enjoyed…
#3. Shop classes, specifically Wood Shop, and Welding Shop. I was encouraged to create and express myself through those classes.

While I thoroughly enjoyed college, by the time I entered college, I was in a long term, bad domestic situation that kept me away from woodworking for many years…

Fast forward 21 years, a new marriage (I am VERY blessed this time!) to a wonderful woman that actually encourages me to express and explore these things… This also coincided with my career taking off in the direction I was working toward, with sufficient income to at least indulge woodworking with a bang for the buck point of view…

I started building up my workshop from a basic circular saw, cheap router table, sanding block, and old hand me down hack saw to what it is today in January 2008.

So now it's time for me to get organized, in both the workshop and the blog… I am hopefully making progress with both.

In case you haven't seen it, my workshop tour page is renewed pretty frequently. I try to keep it up to date with the changes I am making in the shop.

Today was a day of throwing away. Of chucking cut offs from old 2×4s that had bent nails driven into them. The only uses I could think of for keeping these cutoffs are as kindling, and I have plenty of that… So in the trash can they went…

Next came hooking the long hose to the Thien cyclone, and sucking up as much sawdust as I could put a hose to… I have some leftover issues but nothing serious.

Lastly, I had to un bury my planer, and table saw. (Long story, workshop garage not just used as workshop quite yet…).

Since the long hose was out, drug the planer over to the hose, hooked it up, and planed my 4×4 cedar to, well… 3.5"x3.5" +/- .001" (The gauge on the Ryobi isn't super accurate, but this is wood after all, and not cast iron…).

I then cut all of my replacement workbench legs to length. I guess for the guys with more years experience, or even with the same years but more time out in the shop my mistakes border on the sheer stupid, but I am going at this with the motto of "safety first"... My accuracy is improving for sure, but I am still prone to mistakes, which is why I am making new legs…

As I work my way through the projects, one of my key pieces to success I fear is going to be keeping the value of what I do in the workshop relevant to what LOML wants done in and around the house, The following projects are on the TOP of my list…

#1. Finish workbench. (Progress made this weekend).
#2. Finish kitty condo. (progress made this weekend.)
#3. Finish Replacing bad insulation and decking the attic. (Ongoing project, just started). Workbench project is relevant due to need for outfeed support from table saw for safety sake.
#4. Build plywood and 2×4 shelving in attic to make tote access easier. Again workbench relevant for outfeed support.
#5. Build Thien pre separator / trash can cyclone. Safety is relevant all the time…
#6. Finish table saw extension wing. Router table insert will be moving to end of wing, with miter slot to allow use of stacked feather boards. This will be critical when routing profiles for mitered frame raised panel doors that she wants in the kitchen and bathrooms.
#7. Workshop cabinets with mitered frame raised panel doors. Practice and skill builder for kitchen and bathroom projects…. I am planning on using as clear as possible of Cedar for this project. Going to get lots of resawing and milling practice with this!

So while the organization continues, there also remains so much more to do…
While I can't say emphatically enough how blessed I am for having things turn out the second time around, I am NOT the sort that thinks the grass is greener on the other side, and to be blunt, I don't wish the junk I went through on anybody…

I am actually looking forward to spending more time this evening wrapping rope around the uprights to Kitty Condo. It's brainless work, but the entire thing is so near completion as to encourage me to keep going…

I am planning on laying out the center points for drilling the legs for my workbench tonight as well… I will wrap them up in a plastic bag and seal them to limit exposure to humidity while I work on the rails (again) to try to keep the wood from twisting…

One project I forgot to mention, fence. This is huge since most of the fencing material is in the shop. I am waiting for Stump Out to do its magic. I get behind the house in the Bayou with the truck this weekend to clear out the remainder of the downed fence, and limb debris that the city hasn't removed in the last year since Ike…

Hopefully my roofing contractor will finally get my windstorm certification to my insurance company BEFORE the next storm hits…
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Benchop legs, and free mulch... Sort of.

After my screwup with the pine legs, and the fact that pine 4×4s are a royal pain in the butt to find in Houston, I opted for a trip to Lowes to grab a couple of Aromatic red cedar 4×4s. Their so called "select" which I guess is supposedly select grade, but knottier than I would expect.

So I get home with the 4×4s and notice that they are, well actually 4×4, and my plans call for nominal size lumber (3.5×3.5), so it was off to the jointer, and planer to mill this stuff square, and parallel, and 3.5" thick in both dimensions (minus the 1.5" of snipe at each end, but that is what I get for having a cheap planer…)

Now mind you, I have the Thien baffle out of the HF DC, and the trash can cyclone for the DC is not yet done, I have yet to fire up my HF DC without some sort of separator, and I am not about to start now, so it was back to the Ridgid vac and Thien trash can cyclone… Through 15' of hose, while it kept up with the chips, it did NOT keep up with the dust. Respirator time! I should have put it on to begin with, but I like sneezing Cedar dust, reminds me of my pet hampster when I was a kid… (just joking.)

For those of you that do not know what a Thien cyclone, or the Thien baffle is, here is a link to P.hil Thien's cyclone site
.
Now this was only 2 4×4x8 pieces of lumber I was milling down mind you… Not exactly like I was jointing and planing hundreds of BF of lumber right? Well… Mind you the dust bin wasn't empty, but rather about 1/4 full from previous sanding, sawing, dadoing, etc… operations

About 3/4 of the way through planing I heard it through the muffs, Tttttthhhhwunk! The motor on the vac got MUCH louder and suction stopped… Turn the vac off and look…

The vac was full. Go figure. So I empty the vac, and look in the dust bin (trash can). Full, I mean over the baffle, overflowing, what was I thinking full…

Now I have had a Thien Cyclone for almost a year now, and this is the first time I have done this. Note to self, check dust bin OFTEN…



As quickly as this filled up, I WAS working on a Thien cyclone for a 30 gallon trash can, Now I think I am going to have to change those plans and try to find a 55 gallon barrel to convert to a Thien Cyclone… 30 gallons fills up too fast, I bet 55 gallons will fill up quick. And with shavings / dust it is awfully light, might as well get as much in it as I can at once…

So with the milling done, and the dust bin empty it was time to do some drilling. I still need to rig up some some sort of dust collection for this… Open the garage door, set up the filterless box fan and blow chips and dusty air out of the shop… I measured, marked, remeasured, verified and then verified again before the bit started cutting. EXACTLY where I want it to be… No worries… Counter bores right where I want them, holes drilled perfectly straight where I want them, and then verified with the all thread through all 4, and then they get set square to each other. The through holes are 1/16" oversize, so no worries about minor miscalculations in hole location. Enough slack that when the all thread pulls it together, I can convince it to go straight and square…

Tomorrow, weather permitting will bring another trip to Lowes. I am REALLY liking the look of the Cedar, and want to replace the rails / stretchers with cedar, so I need some cedar 2×4s… If these are rough cut like the 4×4s, I guess I am getting more free mulch for LOMLs flowerbeds to boot!

I still need to find the S-clips for mounting the bench top. I believe Kilgore's Lumber Company in League City Texas should have them…

The poor bench top is sitting there being all lonely right now. The mounting pad for the vise is mounted up, the holes drilled for the lag bolts, The vise faces mounted up and dog holes drilled. I just need to mount it to the base, drill the bench dog holes, and either buy, or better yet, make some bench dogs, and a planing stop. I have some 3/8" ply scrap just aching for use…

I did deviate from the plan that I got from Fine Woodworking as their bench top is 24" x 62". I am using a larger vise than they are so my dog holes will be wider spaced, and my bench top is 24" x 72". This was as big as I wanted to go in my shop. I had initially considered edge banding the bench top, but an LOML induced slip with the router when flush trimming changed that plan… I have done some testing on the oil / beeswax finish on exposed edge birch ply, and to be honest, I like the look… I am going with it and just using the edge as a feature instead of a drawback…

Well the lights are out, the timer for the air cleaner has tripped off, and the shower has been taken. Looks like the shop is closed for now. If I am granted the honor by my creator to still be here, there will be more to come…
 

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Benchop legs, and free mulch... Sort of.

After my screwup with the pine legs, and the fact that pine 4×4s are a royal pain in the butt to find in Houston, I opted for a trip to Lowes to grab a couple of Aromatic red cedar 4×4s. Their so called "select" which I guess is supposedly select grade, but knottier than I would expect.

So I get home with the 4×4s and notice that they are, well actually 4×4, and my plans call for nominal size lumber (3.5×3.5), so it was off to the jointer, and planer to mill this stuff square, and parallel, and 3.5" thick in both dimensions (minus the 1.5" of snipe at each end, but that is what I get for having a cheap planer…)

Now mind you, I have the Thien baffle out of the HF DC, and the trash can cyclone for the DC is not yet done, I have yet to fire up my HF DC without some sort of separator, and I am not about to start now, so it was back to the Ridgid vac and Thien trash can cyclone… Through 15' of hose, while it kept up with the chips, it did NOT keep up with the dust. Respirator time! I should have put it on to begin with, but I like sneezing Cedar dust, reminds me of my pet hampster when I was a kid… (just joking.)

For those of you that do not know what a Thien cyclone, or the Thien baffle is, here is a link to P.hil Thien's cyclone site
.
Now this was only 2 4×4x8 pieces of lumber I was milling down mind you… Not exactly like I was jointing and planing hundreds of BF of lumber right? Well… Mind you the dust bin wasn't empty, but rather about 1/4 full from previous sanding, sawing, dadoing, etc… operations

About 3/4 of the way through planing I heard it through the muffs, Tttttthhhhwunk! The motor on the vac got MUCH louder and suction stopped… Turn the vac off and look…

The vac was full. Go figure. So I empty the vac, and look in the dust bin (trash can). Full, I mean over the baffle, overflowing, what was I thinking full…

Now I have had a Thien Cyclone for almost a year now, and this is the first time I have done this. Note to self, check dust bin OFTEN…



As quickly as this filled up, I WAS working on a Thien cyclone for a 30 gallon trash can, Now I think I am going to have to change those plans and try to find a 55 gallon barrel to convert to a Thien Cyclone… 30 gallons fills up too fast, I bet 55 gallons will fill up quick. And with shavings / dust it is awfully light, might as well get as much in it as I can at once…

So with the milling done, and the dust bin empty it was time to do some drilling. I still need to rig up some some sort of dust collection for this… Open the garage door, set up the filterless box fan and blow chips and dusty air out of the shop… I measured, marked, remeasured, verified and then verified again before the bit started cutting. EXACTLY where I want it to be… No worries… Counter bores right where I want them, holes drilled perfectly straight where I want them, and then verified with the all thread through all 4, and then they get set square to each other. The through holes are 1/16" oversize, so no worries about minor miscalculations in hole location. Enough slack that when the all thread pulls it together, I can convince it to go straight and square…

Tomorrow, weather permitting will bring another trip to Lowes. I am REALLY liking the look of the Cedar, and want to replace the rails / stretchers with cedar, so I need some cedar 2×4s… If these are rough cut like the 4×4s, I guess I am getting more free mulch for LOMLs flowerbeds to boot!

I still need to find the S-clips for mounting the bench top. I believe Kilgore's Lumber Company in League City Texas should have them…

The poor bench top is sitting there being all lonely right now. The mounting pad for the vise is mounted up, the holes drilled for the lag bolts, The vise faces mounted up and dog holes drilled. I just need to mount it to the base, drill the bench dog holes, and either buy, or better yet, make some bench dogs, and a planing stop. I have some 3/8" ply scrap just aching for use…

I did deviate from the plan that I got from Fine Woodworking as their bench top is 24" x 62". I am using a larger vise than they are so my dog holes will be wider spaced, and my bench top is 24" x 72". This was as big as I wanted to go in my shop. I had initially considered edge banding the bench top, but an LOML induced slip with the router when flush trimming changed that plan… I have done some testing on the oil / beeswax finish on exposed edge birch ply, and to be honest, I like the look… I am going with it and just using the edge as a feature instead of a drawback…

Well the lights are out, the timer for the air cleaner has tripped off, and the shower has been taken. Looks like the shop is closed for now. If I am granted the honor by my creator to still be here, there will be more to come…
Thanks for taking the time to write your post. It was very interesting. Looking forward to seeing your finished bench.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Benchop legs, and free mulch... Sort of.

After my screwup with the pine legs, and the fact that pine 4×4s are a royal pain in the butt to find in Houston, I opted for a trip to Lowes to grab a couple of Aromatic red cedar 4×4s. Their so called "select" which I guess is supposedly select grade, but knottier than I would expect.

So I get home with the 4×4s and notice that they are, well actually 4×4, and my plans call for nominal size lumber (3.5×3.5), so it was off to the jointer, and planer to mill this stuff square, and parallel, and 3.5" thick in both dimensions (minus the 1.5" of snipe at each end, but that is what I get for having a cheap planer…)

Now mind you, I have the Thien baffle out of the HF DC, and the trash can cyclone for the DC is not yet done, I have yet to fire up my HF DC without some sort of separator, and I am not about to start now, so it was back to the Ridgid vac and Thien trash can cyclone… Through 15' of hose, while it kept up with the chips, it did NOT keep up with the dust. Respirator time! I should have put it on to begin with, but I like sneezing Cedar dust, reminds me of my pet hampster when I was a kid… (just joking.)

For those of you that do not know what a Thien cyclone, or the Thien baffle is, here is a link to P.hil Thien's cyclone site
.
Now this was only 2 4×4x8 pieces of lumber I was milling down mind you… Not exactly like I was jointing and planing hundreds of BF of lumber right? Well… Mind you the dust bin wasn't empty, but rather about 1/4 full from previous sanding, sawing, dadoing, etc… operations

About 3/4 of the way through planing I heard it through the muffs, Tttttthhhhwunk! The motor on the vac got MUCH louder and suction stopped… Turn the vac off and look…

The vac was full. Go figure. So I empty the vac, and look in the dust bin (trash can). Full, I mean over the baffle, overflowing, what was I thinking full…

Now I have had a Thien Cyclone for almost a year now, and this is the first time I have done this. Note to self, check dust bin OFTEN…



As quickly as this filled up, I WAS working on a Thien cyclone for a 30 gallon trash can, Now I think I am going to have to change those plans and try to find a 55 gallon barrel to convert to a Thien Cyclone… 30 gallons fills up too fast, I bet 55 gallons will fill up quick. And with shavings / dust it is awfully light, might as well get as much in it as I can at once…

So with the milling done, and the dust bin empty it was time to do some drilling. I still need to rig up some some sort of dust collection for this… Open the garage door, set up the filterless box fan and blow chips and dusty air out of the shop… I measured, marked, remeasured, verified and then verified again before the bit started cutting. EXACTLY where I want it to be… No worries… Counter bores right where I want them, holes drilled perfectly straight where I want them, and then verified with the all thread through all 4, and then they get set square to each other. The through holes are 1/16" oversize, so no worries about minor miscalculations in hole location. Enough slack that when the all thread pulls it together, I can convince it to go straight and square…

Tomorrow, weather permitting will bring another trip to Lowes. I am REALLY liking the look of the Cedar, and want to replace the rails / stretchers with cedar, so I need some cedar 2×4s… If these are rough cut like the 4×4s, I guess I am getting more free mulch for LOMLs flowerbeds to boot!

I still need to find the S-clips for mounting the bench top. I believe Kilgore's Lumber Company in League City Texas should have them…

The poor bench top is sitting there being all lonely right now. The mounting pad for the vise is mounted up, the holes drilled for the lag bolts, The vise faces mounted up and dog holes drilled. I just need to mount it to the base, drill the bench dog holes, and either buy, or better yet, make some bench dogs, and a planing stop. I have some 3/8" ply scrap just aching for use…

I did deviate from the plan that I got from Fine Woodworking as their bench top is 24" x 62". I am using a larger vise than they are so my dog holes will be wider spaced, and my bench top is 24" x 72". This was as big as I wanted to go in my shop. I had initially considered edge banding the bench top, but an LOML induced slip with the router when flush trimming changed that plan… I have done some testing on the oil / beeswax finish on exposed edge birch ply, and to be honest, I like the look… I am going with it and just using the edge as a feature instead of a drawback…

Well the lights are out, the timer for the air cleaner has tripped off, and the shower has been taken. Looks like the shop is closed for now. If I am granted the honor by my creator to still be here, there will be more to come…
I got the 2×4 cedar on my way home tonight. It's a bit late to be running the planer tonight too, by the time I get set up it will be 8:30, which would put me done planing at around 9:30, after the neighbors kids should be asleep for school tomorrow…

Stupid postage stamp sized lots…
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
More free mulch, broken planers, and burnt fingertips...

Well, I found 4 2×4x8s of cedar following me home in the bed of my truck tonight. Not a bad deal considering Lowes had them for a lower price than I am used to seeing them around here. ($5.16 each, I am used to seeing $6.89 each). So I came home with them, and decided to squeeze some planing time in before 9:00, and got the dressed boards down to at least thickness before I had to wrap it up.

I have had my planer since Valentine's day 2008, it was a gift from my wife. I love this planer, but tonight it did something I didn't expect, and for reasons unknown… The elevation crank handle broke… It wasn't obvious at first, but it WAS without a doubt broken. The square recess the shaft fits in simply split and spread.

It's not like this was, or has ever been under a lot of stress, so I am unsure WHY it would break like this, but it did… I attempted to call Ryobi's 1-800 number, but of course they are closed for the night, so I submitted a service request on their website. I am afraid they will make me take the entire thing to their authorized service center (BAD idea guys!). I hope they do the right thing and simply mail me the replacement piece and call it good…

I am going to cut the stock down to rough size tomorrow, edge joint one edge, then bring them to final size on the table saw…. This will all get stuck on plastic until Saturday morning in an effort to reduce twisting.

Saturday comes the Dado blade treatment, and adding the cleats (From scrap cedar. Setting the dowel pin holes and start sanding the pieces in prep for final assembly and finishing…

I know I have said this before, but this is getting awfully close, and I am getting anxious to seeing the end result of all this work. I am pretty sure my wife is too…

The remaining project for the weekend is to continue upholstering the kitty condo. I am done with the tiers except the top. The uprights are in the process of getting the rope wrapped around it. My Arrow electric brad nailer keeps jamming during the process, which involves periodic brand nailing, and lots of hot glue to keep the rope in place… I manged to burn my fingertips with the hot glue, again… I need to learn to work with some sort of gloves when I use that stuff. I just can't keep it away from my fingers!

I managed to completely overrun the trash can dust bin again tonight, but this time, I didn't get more than a gallon sucked up into the vac. Not sure why that is… It is amazing how fast 20' of dust collection hose fills up with planer shavings!

All told I produced another 30 gallons or so of cedar planer shavings tonight. The flowerbeds are going to like the fresh layer for sure!

Well, the tools are put back up, the lights are out, and the shower has been taken. The shop is closed yet again. If my maker permits me the honor, I will continue to bring you updates to this experience. I am having a blast!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Knocking down the project list one by one...

It happened so quickly I was actually kind of stunned when I was done.

All of the materials were in one place, and just BEGGING to be used. The DC has been pretty much ignored since February as I have a bad habit of sucking nails and washers into my DC hose and hearing that awful noise when they hit the impeller… So a Thien Cyclone was in order. Honestly I was just being too lazy to get it done.

I made a quick decision tonight that sped the process along. Instead of making a new lid, simply modify the OE plastic lid, give it a little reinforcement with some fender washers, and keep the baffle out of light weight hardboard.

Quick as a flash I had it measured, then remeasured. Knocked out a crude beam compass to lay out the cut lines, cut the baffle out with the jig saw and sand it down to the lines, and test fit. Sand a shave more.

The holes in the plastic top for the PVC pieces were almost easier. Cut with the jigsaw just inside the scratched lines, and dress the hole to fit with a rasp. Hot melt glue the PVC in, Line the baffle up, drill some holes and bolt it all together. Real quick and simple… And even though my hole alignment between lid and baffle is off a little bit, putting the large part of the baffle off by about an inch past the elbow, it all works exactly as it should…

30 gallons of Cedar shavings and dust later, I can report complete success with this separator, and I shouldn't have to worry so much about keeping the dust bin empty..

I am not particularly happy with Ryobi tonight though. I submitted a support request through their web site last night and still no reply…

I can't get away with not responding to my customer requests in that time period. Why do they?

If you don't recall, I managed to break the square drive female piece of my elevation handle on my Ryobi AP1301 planer last night, doing nothing more than raising the cutter head. I am still under warranty, and do NOT want to have to take my plaer in to the official service center just for a stupid crank handle…

I have boxed up a bit of the old 2.5" hose that will no longer be used. Not sure what to do with it… Might give some of it to a friend of mine that just has a shop vac for dust collection… My Shop Vac Sawdust Collection system is a thing of the past for me now. I am much happier with the full fledged DC, and with the separator working now, I will be migrating away from the shop vac setup entirely…
 

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Knocking down the project list one by one...

It happened so quickly I was actually kind of stunned when I was done.

All of the materials were in one place, and just BEGGING to be used. The DC has been pretty much ignored since February as I have a bad habit of sucking nails and washers into my DC hose and hearing that awful noise when they hit the impeller… So a Thien Cyclone was in order. Honestly I was just being too lazy to get it done.

I made a quick decision tonight that sped the process along. Instead of making a new lid, simply modify the OE plastic lid, give it a little reinforcement with some fender washers, and keep the baffle out of light weight hardboard.

Quick as a flash I had it measured, then remeasured. Knocked out a crude beam compass to lay out the cut lines, cut the baffle out with the jig saw and sand it down to the lines, and test fit. Sand a shave more.

The holes in the plastic top for the PVC pieces were almost easier. Cut with the jigsaw just inside the scratched lines, and dress the hole to fit with a rasp. Hot melt glue the PVC in, Line the baffle up, drill some holes and bolt it all together. Real quick and simple… And even though my hole alignment between lid and baffle is off a little bit, putting the large part of the baffle off by about an inch past the elbow, it all works exactly as it should…

30 gallons of Cedar shavings and dust later, I can report complete success with this separator, and I shouldn't have to worry so much about keeping the dust bin empty..

I am not particularly happy with Ryobi tonight though. I submitted a support request through their web site last night and still no reply…

I can't get away with not responding to my customer requests in that time period. Why do they?

If you don't recall, I managed to break the square drive female piece of my elevation handle on my Ryobi AP1301 planer last night, doing nothing more than raising the cutter head. I am still under warranty, and do NOT want to have to take my plaer in to the official service center just for a stupid crank handle…

I have boxed up a bit of the old 2.5" hose that will no longer be used. Not sure what to do with it… Might give some of it to a friend of mine that just has a shop vac for dust collection… My Shop Vac Sawdust Collection system is a thing of the past for me now. I am much happier with the full fledged DC, and with the separator working now, I will be migrating away from the shop vac setup entirely…
" The DC has been pretty much ignored since February as I have a bad habit of sucking nails and washers into my DC hose and hearing that awful noise when they hit the impeller"

What are you doing that you are sucking up metal in the dc? Dust collectors are for just that, dust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Knocking down the project list one by one...

It happened so quickly I was actually kind of stunned when I was done.

All of the materials were in one place, and just BEGGING to be used. The DC has been pretty much ignored since February as I have a bad habit of sucking nails and washers into my DC hose and hearing that awful noise when they hit the impeller… So a Thien Cyclone was in order. Honestly I was just being too lazy to get it done.

I made a quick decision tonight that sped the process along. Instead of making a new lid, simply modify the OE plastic lid, give it a little reinforcement with some fender washers, and keep the baffle out of light weight hardboard.

Quick as a flash I had it measured, then remeasured. Knocked out a crude beam compass to lay out the cut lines, cut the baffle out with the jig saw and sand it down to the lines, and test fit. Sand a shave more.

The holes in the plastic top for the PVC pieces were almost easier. Cut with the jigsaw just inside the scratched lines, and dress the hole to fit with a rasp. Hot melt glue the PVC in, Line the baffle up, drill some holes and bolt it all together. Real quick and simple… And even though my hole alignment between lid and baffle is off a little bit, putting the large part of the baffle off by about an inch past the elbow, it all works exactly as it should…

30 gallons of Cedar shavings and dust later, I can report complete success with this separator, and I shouldn't have to worry so much about keeping the dust bin empty..

I am not particularly happy with Ryobi tonight though. I submitted a support request through their web site last night and still no reply…

I can't get away with not responding to my customer requests in that time period. Why do they?

If you don't recall, I managed to break the square drive female piece of my elevation handle on my Ryobi AP1301 planer last night, doing nothing more than raising the cutter head. I am still under warranty, and do NOT want to have to take my plaer in to the official service center just for a stupid crank handle…

I have boxed up a bit of the old 2.5" hose that will no longer be used. Not sure what to do with it… Might give some of it to a friend of mine that just has a shop vac for dust collection… My Shop Vac Sawdust Collection system is a thing of the past for me now. I am much happier with the full fledged DC, and with the separator working now, I will be migrating away from the shop vac setup entirely…
I tend to use the DC for shop cleanup (Floor sweep) as I finish projects. I have a habit of missing things like small screws, and brand nails until I hear them hit the impeller…

Also larger chunks tend to bang around quite a bit, and more than once long shavings from the lathe and planer have jammed up the inlet cross gizmo at the impeller housing. I know I could cut that out, but the pre separator seemed like a better idea to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Improvements, mistakes, and where did that blood come from?

I can't say enough good about how well the Thien separator on my dust collector is working. I tried avoiding building a pre separator to keep from taking up precious shop space. I can honestly say I am glad I finally opted to do it. I tired quickly from constantly emptying the lower bag from my DC with the Thien Baffle, so although my filter was staying clean, I was every other day, and sometimes once an hour pulling the lower bag from this thing, which can be a real chore!

I continued work on the base for my workbench, and it is coming along really nicely. However that nice smooth grain from the Cedar I milled this weekend is raising quite dramatically on some pieces. I expected that, but not to the extend I am getting it. I guess contrary to advertising, this stuff has never seen a kiln, and I do not have a moisture meter to be able to tell for sure…

So my mistake, and this was a dumb one, putting the upper spreader on backwards with the slot for the S clips out. I only did it to one, and I have some extra stock to fix this with, but boy was that dumb…

While assembling the front leg assembly for the base, I noticed blood on the stock, like maybe I had cut my hands somehow. But I didn't feel anything. I look, and nothing… Come to find out after I get back into the house that I had managed to cut my forearm on something in the shop and not even notice. Nothing deep, just a scrape enough to draw blood… The scary part is I never felt it.

The work stopper for the night was when LOML came out to the shop to ask me a question. Now this is NOT her fault, just coincidental, and she got to witness this… I managed to fumble my drill, complete with my 3/8" Ti coated twist drill bit, as it tumbled toward the floor I kept trying to catch it, but no joy… It landed, at an angle, just barely on the tip of the bit… Now I have broken drill bits before. Little teeny tiny 1/8" or smaller bits… But never anything this big… And of course I am drilling holes for my 3/8" dowels, so I kind of needed that bit… I will be off to Ace Hardware at lunch to grab a single bit as I am unsure if Home Depot carries drill bits singularly.

Hopefully tonight I can recover from my stupid mistake, and get the base together… We will see…
 

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Improvements, mistakes, and where did that blood come from?

I can't say enough good about how well the Thien separator on my dust collector is working. I tried avoiding building a pre separator to keep from taking up precious shop space. I can honestly say I am glad I finally opted to do it. I tired quickly from constantly emptying the lower bag from my DC with the Thien Baffle, so although my filter was staying clean, I was every other day, and sometimes once an hour pulling the lower bag from this thing, which can be a real chore!

I continued work on the base for my workbench, and it is coming along really nicely. However that nice smooth grain from the Cedar I milled this weekend is raising quite dramatically on some pieces. I expected that, but not to the extend I am getting it. I guess contrary to advertising, this stuff has never seen a kiln, and I do not have a moisture meter to be able to tell for sure…

So my mistake, and this was a dumb one, putting the upper spreader on backwards with the slot for the S clips out. I only did it to one, and I have some extra stock to fix this with, but boy was that dumb…

While assembling the front leg assembly for the base, I noticed blood on the stock, like maybe I had cut my hands somehow. But I didn't feel anything. I look, and nothing… Come to find out after I get back into the house that I had managed to cut my forearm on something in the shop and not even notice. Nothing deep, just a scrape enough to draw blood… The scary part is I never felt it.

The work stopper for the night was when LOML came out to the shop to ask me a question. Now this is NOT her fault, just coincidental, and she got to witness this… I managed to fumble my drill, complete with my 3/8" Ti coated twist drill bit, as it tumbled toward the floor I kept trying to catch it, but no joy… It landed, at an angle, just barely on the tip of the bit… Now I have broken drill bits before. Little teeny tiny 1/8" or smaller bits… But never anything this big… And of course I am drilling holes for my 3/8" dowels, so I kind of needed that bit… I will be off to Ace Hardware at lunch to grab a single bit as I am unsure if Home Depot carries drill bits singularly.

Hopefully tonight I can recover from my stupid mistake, and get the base together… We will see…
When I get blood on a project it just reminds me that it is handmade and has my personal touch. I cant remember a project, big or small that I havent cut myself. It always seems a sharp edge on a piece of lumber gets me. I have never cut myself with any of the tools. The wood has it out for me I think!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Improvements, mistakes, and where did that blood come from?

I can't say enough good about how well the Thien separator on my dust collector is working. I tried avoiding building a pre separator to keep from taking up precious shop space. I can honestly say I am glad I finally opted to do it. I tired quickly from constantly emptying the lower bag from my DC with the Thien Baffle, so although my filter was staying clean, I was every other day, and sometimes once an hour pulling the lower bag from this thing, which can be a real chore!

I continued work on the base for my workbench, and it is coming along really nicely. However that nice smooth grain from the Cedar I milled this weekend is raising quite dramatically on some pieces. I expected that, but not to the extend I am getting it. I guess contrary to advertising, this stuff has never seen a kiln, and I do not have a moisture meter to be able to tell for sure…

So my mistake, and this was a dumb one, putting the upper spreader on backwards with the slot for the S clips out. I only did it to one, and I have some extra stock to fix this with, but boy was that dumb…

While assembling the front leg assembly for the base, I noticed blood on the stock, like maybe I had cut my hands somehow. But I didn't feel anything. I look, and nothing… Come to find out after I get back into the house that I had managed to cut my forearm on something in the shop and not even notice. Nothing deep, just a scrape enough to draw blood… The scary part is I never felt it.

The work stopper for the night was when LOML came out to the shop to ask me a question. Now this is NOT her fault, just coincidental, and she got to witness this… I managed to fumble my drill, complete with my 3/8" Ti coated twist drill bit, as it tumbled toward the floor I kept trying to catch it, but no joy… It landed, at an angle, just barely on the tip of the bit… Now I have broken drill bits before. Little teeny tiny 1/8" or smaller bits… But never anything this big… And of course I am drilling holes for my 3/8" dowels, so I kind of needed that bit… I will be off to Ace Hardware at lunch to grab a single bit as I am unsure if Home Depot carries drill bits singularly.

Hopefully tonight I can recover from my stupid mistake, and get the base together… We will see…
This is the first time I have cut myself in this workshop, and I used it for automotive work prior to woodworking, all told for 7 years now. I do tend to hack my hands up pretty good on cheap computer cases though…
 

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Improvements, mistakes, and where did that blood come from?

I can't say enough good about how well the Thien separator on my dust collector is working. I tried avoiding building a pre separator to keep from taking up precious shop space. I can honestly say I am glad I finally opted to do it. I tired quickly from constantly emptying the lower bag from my DC with the Thien Baffle, so although my filter was staying clean, I was every other day, and sometimes once an hour pulling the lower bag from this thing, which can be a real chore!

I continued work on the base for my workbench, and it is coming along really nicely. However that nice smooth grain from the Cedar I milled this weekend is raising quite dramatically on some pieces. I expected that, but not to the extend I am getting it. I guess contrary to advertising, this stuff has never seen a kiln, and I do not have a moisture meter to be able to tell for sure…

So my mistake, and this was a dumb one, putting the upper spreader on backwards with the slot for the S clips out. I only did it to one, and I have some extra stock to fix this with, but boy was that dumb…

While assembling the front leg assembly for the base, I noticed blood on the stock, like maybe I had cut my hands somehow. But I didn't feel anything. I look, and nothing… Come to find out after I get back into the house that I had managed to cut my forearm on something in the shop and not even notice. Nothing deep, just a scrape enough to draw blood… The scary part is I never felt it.

The work stopper for the night was when LOML came out to the shop to ask me a question. Now this is NOT her fault, just coincidental, and she got to witness this… I managed to fumble my drill, complete with my 3/8" Ti coated twist drill bit, as it tumbled toward the floor I kept trying to catch it, but no joy… It landed, at an angle, just barely on the tip of the bit… Now I have broken drill bits before. Little teeny tiny 1/8" or smaller bits… But never anything this big… And of course I am drilling holes for my 3/8" dowels, so I kind of needed that bit… I will be off to Ace Hardware at lunch to grab a single bit as I am unsure if Home Depot carries drill bits singularly.

Hopefully tonight I can recover from my stupid mistake, and get the base together… We will see…
sounds like things are coming together over there - fantastic! I need to make the thien separator myself too, emptying the bag everytime is a PITA.

like MedicKen said - watch out for those jointed edges - they dont look it, but they are blood thirsty.

if I didn't bleed - it means I haven't been in the shop ;) (ok… not really… j/k)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The workbench is almost complete.



There it sits, proudly in nearing completion glory. And it is almost usable! The dog holes, lower shelf, sanding, and finishing are all that is left to complete this project.



I wasn't sure I should post this one. The twist you see is an optical illusion. I have checked it with straight edges, levels, you name it. This thing is dead flat…



My Central Forge 9" quick release vise fitted with wooden faces, and bench dog holes. Yes the back face of the vise is uneven. I am considering taking it back to Harbor Freight. Looks like a screwy casting to me. I guess I will see if it impacts anything.



The quick release works very well. Making me wonder if I really should take the thing back or just deal with it…



As you can see, the lower stretchers did not get the slots cut into them that the uppers did. I REALLY wanted to flush mount the lower shelf…

That's it for now. More to come soon!
 

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The workbench is almost complete.



There it sits, proudly in nearing completion glory. And it is almost usable! The dog holes, lower shelf, sanding, and finishing are all that is left to complete this project.



I wasn't sure I should post this one. The twist you see is an optical illusion. I have checked it with straight edges, levels, you name it. This thing is dead flat…



My Central Forge 9" quick release vise fitted with wooden faces, and bench dog holes. Yes the back face of the vise is uneven. I am considering taking it back to Harbor Freight. Looks like a screwy casting to me. I guess I will see if it impacts anything.



The quick release works very well. Making me wonder if I really should take the thing back or just deal with it…



As you can see, the lower stretchers did not get the slots cut into them that the uppers did. I REALLY wanted to flush mount the lower shelf…

That's it for now. More to come soon!
coming along nicely
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The thought process so far on the bench. Veering away from the instruction video or sheet.

Considering the fact that this bench was designed by the guys at Fine Woodworking to be a skill builder, and I went off on my own tangent using the tools and resources I have to get to the same end. For example…

The original plan called for 4×4 and 2×4 kiln dried construction grade lumber. I opted for rough cut 4×4 and 2×4 cedar lumber, planed, jointed, and then ripped it to nominal dimension.

The grooves in the rails and spreaders are per the instructions cut with a router and edge guide. But I have a table saw and nice dado set, not to mention calipers to verify dimensions / distances.

The instructions tell us to drill the holes more or less freehand. All I have to say about that is… I don't think so Tim… Drill press and stop blocks all the way!

The instructions called for a 62" long bench top. This was nice, but I wanted more room, so 72" it was for me!

The instructions called for cutting the ply / mdf top pieces with a cutting guide, and circular saw. But my local BORG has a panel saw, and a particularly skilled young man that is a fellow woodworker that will cut to EXACT dimension, figuring kerf for me. No need for me to cut it!

The instructions called for using a cutting guide / circ saw to cut all my lumber to length. While this is a fantastic idea, I have a perfectly usable compound miter saw, that also does dead straight square crosscuts through all the stock in question (once the 4×4s are jointed and planed down that is!).

The instructions called for the lower shelf to be mounted on top of the lower spreaders / rails, I am opting for mounting on top of a cleat, flush with the lower spreaders / rails. This I feel is more attractive, and buys me 3/4" more headroom for any tools that might end up stored down there.

The instruction sheet called for the vise to be a 7" model. I opted for a 9" model, specifically for capacity sake. (And the 7" model was no better than my 9" as far as machining etc… ).

Lastly, the instruction sheet does NOT call for any sort of finish on the bench. I know lots of workbenches are out there without a finish. And I am still considering leaving mine naked, but this is a good exercise in practicing oil & wax finishes…

The instructions were also a little vague in the details, specifically where to source the materials from… I ended up doing some substitution that was recommended to me by a local furniture builder for my project.

The kiln dried pine is such a nuisance to obtain in the Houston market, that the Cedar was recommended as the best alternative from a cost / benefit stand point.

The S clips are also next to impossible to find in Houston. I opted instead for the heavy duty mirror hanger S clips. Same size and shape, same thickness steel, just silver instead of black… Big deal. Nobody should be looking that close to the bottom of my bench anyway!

I need to make room in my shop behind the table saw for this. And that may be coming this weekend… I have a MESS of material in my shop, that really should be under a tarp out on my deck waiting to be turned into a fence… (Using Stump Out to rot out some stumps along the fence line before I proceed…). Once that is out of there, I can start moving LOML's gardening stuff to the side the shop tools are in, and moving the shop tools to the side I want them on… Including setting up my DC plumbing finally!

That's it for the time being, the next posts you are likely to see will involve the Kitty Condo. Progress is being made there, and Kitty is already trying to shred it…
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
A bit here, a bit there, and it adds up to progress...

More progress to report. Not a lot of progress, but still progress…

I managed to completed destroy the bearings in my old B&D Edge Hog edger, which really wasn't a heart breaker. I have been itching for a gasser for a long time anyway. My local Ace Hardware had an Echo on clearance on the cheap. So it followed me home… Now the problem I had was the hanger for the electric would not suffice for the much larger gas model. So a Closetmaid yard tool hanger gizmo also followed me home. Some rearranging of the yard tools rack area allowed for space for the hanger and the new edger.

I have probably spent at least 6 hours over the last 2 days cleaning and organizing in the shop. Particularly on the old workbench… TONS of sorting later… I have much more full small parts bins, and much less full workbench…

And lastly, on the new workbench. The dog holes have been lined up, measured, marked, and drilled… I need to get with the lower shelf, and some bench dogs now. So far it is pretty sturdy though. Happy so far!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Accidental finishing started...

Okay so the top WAS through final sanding and it indeed WAS ready for a finish, but the sides weren't… But you know how these things go. Tight for space, and the workbench hasn't been put in its final place.

Fooling around on the lathe applying the finish to, well whatever it is. The product of my fooling around. (I am SERIOUSLY considering taking the suggestion to drill a counter bore in it and make a candlestick holder out of it…)

I turned around to get more linseed oil for the turning, and clunk. Over went the can, a quick pickup of it wasn't fast enough to keep the oil off of the top. I took the rag, and wiped it, well in…. And then the grain started popping… Eye popping is more like it…. No pics yet, but this falls into the category of WOW…

And then it wasn't accidental…. I kept coating the entire top, sides not included, until it was an oily, shimmery brilliant…

Now I have used BB ply before, and yes, it can have pretty grain, and oil / wax finishes work great on them. But the results are not something I was expecting…

On another bench related note. I finally found the right clips at Rockler, and took advantage of their sale. The mirror clips it would appear just aren't strong enough…
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Some pics of the workbench top...

Not much today. Just snapped some pics of the workbench top to show y'all how it is looking… I don't know about you folks, but I LOVE that color! I need to finish sanding the edges and get after them with some oil, then get after the base… And finally, wax it all down…


 
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